Why do Deer Eat Dead Leaves?

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Thanks for your kinds words about our troops now serving on foreign soils (Grant’s February 8th, 2010 blog entry). I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to link onto your site and the QDMA. Along with church service, your site helps me keep my head on straight. Yes, I may not be in the states but once a deer geek always a deer geek!

Here’s a question no biologist has ever fully answered for me. Why in the world do deer eat dead leaves? With no nutritional value can we assume it’s just something to fill the rumen?

Love ya buddy,


Blessings from Afghanistan

Gen 1:28


I remember a study on fallen leaves from wild grapes that showed they retained traces of certain minerals. Deer have the ability to identify food sources that have traces of vitamins and minerals that they need (I assume by smell). I suspect they consume various fallen leaves to obtain needed vitamins and minerals if they are not readily available from a better source. Remember — this is simply an assumption. In areas of poor habitat, fallen leaves may be one of the only food items. Be safe in Afghanistan! I’m sure the deer at home are glad you’re away!

Growing Deer together,